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December 2011 VOLUME 13, ISSUE 1


the Recorder

Inside This Issue Community Local Coffee warms up Stone Oak PAGE 4 Sports Football ends season at state quarter-finals PAGE 6 Movie Review News Year’s Eve PAGE 7 Hacked! Spam e-mail finds its way into teachers’ in-box PAGE 7 Opinion Having a digital camera doesn’t make you a photographer PAGE 8


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December 2011 Vol. 11 Issue 1 features the latest in school news, sports news, features, movie and music reviews, and photos. The website has won three Best of Show Awards at national conventions and an NSPA Pacemaker. Screenshot from

HI126 - Publications Room

The Recorder Staff

Editor-in-Chief Kris Seavers Photo Editor Emily Brown Staff Writers Danish Charania Dillon Christian Michelle Saccar Jake Weeth Cover image by Emily Brown.

Letter from the editor Take a moment to take in this thing in your hand. Feel its weight in your hands; breathe in the crispness of the paper and the bitterness of the ink. It’s hot off the press. Or maybe it’s not, but either way you may be a little confused as to why you’re holding a tangible version of the Recorder. It’s been a while since you’ve seen one of these around campus, if you’ve ever seen one at all. It’s true, the Recorder hasn’t put out a print issue in over a year. We’ve been doing things a little more technologically savvy lately, and if you’ve been on lately, you know we’re not doing too bad of a job. What I’m saying is, the website rocks. Since its debut in summer of 2011, the Recorder Online has won three Best of Show Awards at national Journalism Education Association conventions as well as a National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker, one of the highest honors a high school publication could dream of receiving. Our dedicated staff, with the guidance and expertise of our fantastically fantastic adviser, Monique Sandoval, has helped make Reagan’s online newspaper truly one of the best in the country. To say I’m proud to be part of such a sensational publication would be a vast understatement. But enough gushy stuff. You’re probably still wondering about this weird paper thing in your hand.

While the website keeps us entirely busy and happy, we as a staff couldn’t quiet the little voice in our heads that wanted something palpable. We wanted a throwback to the news print and black and white photos of yesteryear. More than that, we wanted a way to spread the word of reaganrecorder. com because, let’s be honest, not nearly enough of you know that it exists. So while half the staff continued to update the website, the other half of us got to work on this newspaper that you’re holding. And I mean work. The kind of work that makes math homework and English essays look like sissy stuff. So I hope you guys like it. It’s about you, after all. I hope the stories interest you, move you, or maybe even make you laugh. I hope our Winterspread puts you in the holiday spirit, and that you start craving a Caramela from Local Coffee. I hope that you want to join Origami Club or that you get pumped about the return of the NBA. And if any of these things do happen, write us about it! Leave us a comment on Let us know that you love the Recorder as much as we do. And most of all, have a fantastic winter break. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready to get some shut-eye and eat as many candy canes as possible while watching Elf. Catch you on the flip side!

Editor-in-Chief, Kris Seavers

The Reagan Recorder is a district approved and student-produced news and feature publication that is distributed to students, faculty and the community. The publication has been established as a public forum for student expression and for the discussion of issues of concern to its audience. The Recorder and its staff will strive to publish only legally protected speech following the legal definitions for libel, obscenity and invasion of privacy. The staff will also refrain from printing stories that create a material disruption of school activities. The opinions and views of the Recorder reflect those of the staff and are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administration.

The newspaper has been reviewed to uphold the high ideals of NEISD. Letters to the editor are strongly encouraged and will be published unless slanderous, vulgar or unsigned. Please send e-mails to msando11@ or The Recorder is a member of Texas Association of Journalism Educators, Journalism Educators of America, National Scholastic Press Association, Interscholastic League Press Association, American Scholastic Press Association and the Student Press Law Center. For more information, visit:

Cut along the dotted lines (after you’re done reading, of course) and fold the square using the steps below to create your own origami Christmas tree.

Step 1 Cut out the Origami Club article and make a diagonal crease


Fold left and right sides to meet the crease.


School News

Origami club unfolded

3 STEP 7

December 2011 Vol. 10 Issue 7

Junior Paul Chung creates club with paper in mind By Michelle Saccar Recorder Staff Writer

From simplicity to complexity, the art of Origami turns an ordinary piece of paper into an intricate 3D figure. Hoping to integrate this classic Oriental art form with snacks and movies and fun, junior Paul Chung started an Origami Club. “Origami is fun and relaxing,” Chung, now the president of the club, said. “To create a club where people can just come and enjoy themselves is great.” Chung has many fond childhood memories of making origami. This tedious craft originated in Japan in the sixteenth century and has been expanding globally ever since. It was originally used by the higher class to wrap delicate gifts for friends and family. Now a relaxing and enjoyable hobby, Origami is the perfect basis for a club. “I think the club has been successful so far,” club sponsor Su Jin Choi said. “Our purpose is to connect math into something fun, and origami does that.” Since opening in Novem-

Flip and fold both the top right and left sides to meet the center crease

ber, the club has held three meetings. Each meeting has had a different theme from the last. “The meetings are fun,” junior Hannah Towery said. “Last week, the theme was ‘Under the Sea’ so we made origami fish while watching Finding Nemo and eating yummy snacks.” In addition to theme oriented activities, the members construct a different origami model at each meeting. Members learn new models using specific steps. Choi, who teaches Algebra I and Algebra II, said she is willing to step in and help the kids with any complications they may encounter while making the models. During the meeting, the members also discuss upcoming service projects. The club is already preparing to participate next year in a project to send 1,000 handmade cranes to New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The cranes will be handed out to visitors of


By Kris Seavers Recorder Editor-in-Chief

Freshmen and teachers are preparing for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™), the test that will begin to replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in Spring 2012. The new test will only affect students who are freshmen this year or will be freshmen after the 2011-12 school year. “It’s going to change teaching a lot,” Dean of English and freshman English teacher Sara Wiley said. The STAAR test is designed to be more rigorous than TAKS. It will have more questions, and most of the questions will focus on content students studied that year instead of accumulated knowledge from past years. The idea is that the more rigorous design will better prepare students for college. In addition, the test will be

Voila! You made a Christmas tree


Fold about threefourths of the front flap forward


Fold a small flap Fold in half backwards at the “hamburger” style top and backwards

A wondrous show

There’s a new STAAR in town

Students, teachers prepare for the rigorous common assessment test

Tribute Centers for the anniversary of 9/11. Moreover, Shaya Kara, the vice president, explained that the club is considering going to hospitals and making origami for patients instead of the usual cards. Not only can members participate in these origami projects, but they can gain service hours, too. The club is planning on engaging in more service projects for students to work at. “I think one of the best things about service hours through our organization is that the kids actually have to put effort into gaining the hours through the models they create, rather than just turning in a can,” Chung said. Who knew a club could be so productive as to challenge the mind, develop fine motor skills and activate both hemispheres of the brain? If you are interested in joining the Origami Club, please see Ms. Choi in VT255.

By Jake Weeth Recorder Staff Writer

The STAAR test will be replacing the TAKS for this year’s freshmen. For more information on what to expect on the STAAR test, scan this barcode. Photo courtesy of

timed. With the exception of students who are eligible for the accommodated version, students will have four hours to complete each component of the STAAR test. “When TAKS first came in, it was far more rigorous than anything teachers had ever seen,” Ms. Wiley said. “Over time, the STAAR test will seem just as easy.” The STAAR test is also structurally completely different from TAKS. Instead of taking two tests in 9th grade and four tests in 10th and 11th grade, students will be taking 12 End of Course (EOC) assessments whenever they complete the corresponding course. Students as well as teachers are feeling the pressure of the new test. “I’m really scared,” freshman Tyler Brenner said. “I don’t know how to prepare for it.”

The choir and orchestra gave the gift of song to the Stone Oak community at this year’s Winter Show on Thurs., Dec. 8. It was a festive way to start the holiday season, beginning with the first rendition of “Happy Holidays” sung by the Soundsations.   This two-hour holiday spectacular choir concert consisted of the some of the greatest winter time hits of all time, including “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “White Christmas.”   The crowd even got involved when asked to stand up and join in with sing-along versions of “Deck the Halls,” “Joy to the World,” and the chorus of “Hallelujah.” The choir performances were each backed by the orchestra. Each song had its own fun holiday feel that matched perfectly with the theme of the concert, “A Gift of Song.”

The Soundsations gave a comedic edge to their performance of “Jingle Bells” with a sleigh ride skit. Choir Director Mary Cowart began preparing the choirs for the holiday concert in mid-October. They practiced right up until the day of the concert. “It went great,” freshman Kantorei singer Samantha Wasaff said. “I was so excited.” As tradition, the choir traditionally ended the show with hymn “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” asking any willing parents, students, and teachers to join in. The concert was all together a vibrant way to celebrate the winter holidays and uplift everyone’s spirit with the art of music. It was a perfect ending to the first semester of this school year and was a performance to remember.


December 2011 Vol. 11 Issue 1

Keeping it local By Michelle Saccar Recorder Staff Writer


ocal establishments strive to reach an environment permeating liveliness yet comfort; a cup of coffee savory yet subtle; baristas dedicated yet convivial, all formulated into a neighborhood coffee shop. Local Coffee has established just that for the Stone Oak community. Local Coffee strives to provide its customers with the “local experience.” The shop supplies customers with wooden tables, comfy couches, and an outdoor patio, all ideal locations for sipping a latte. One will often see friends chatting, business colleagues discussing and individuals reading around the shop. The warm colors of the store offer customers a coziness that makes them feel right at home. The rotational art displayed on the walls supplies a refreshing look for the locals every so often. The shop doesn’t charge or profit from the art, so the artists are paid every penny of what their pieces are sold for. “I want people to remember the complete experience of the shop,” Local Coffee founder and owner Robby Grubbs said. “I want them to come in with a sense of belonging. I want them to come in with a new found knowledge of what coffee can be. I want them to enjoy coffee for the first time without having to put a bunch of cream and sugar, and realize how good coffee can really be.”

Winter Spread Local Coffee has the finest coffee beans this side of the San Antonio River

Local Coffee is an independently owned and operated coffee shop that’s serves only the highest quality of coffee from roasters outside of Austin. There are just a handful of micro-roasters in the world that sell the type of high quality coffee that this shop does. This specialty coffee represents about 1 percent of 1 percent of coffee in the world. The difference between this and other types of coffee is that it is selectively picked, meaning they pick the ripest of the ripe cherries. “Everything we serve has to be of the highest quality when it’s roasted and how it’s roasted,” Jason Tantaros, a barista, said. “We don’t source any roasters that are doing partial hard work. Everyone is at the top of their game.” The shop provides live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. On Fridays, the shop holds open mic. nights for people young and old to come out and share some music from 6 to 9 PM. Some of the most common acts include singing, reading poetry, and playing guitar. “We encourage new artists to come out,” Josh Glenn, host of Local Coffee’s open mic nights, said. “It’s a great place to hone in on your talent and work creatively in front of an audience. I think the energy is reciprocated from the audience to the performer.” There are several changes taking place at the shop right now. Grubbs is think-

ing about modifying the menu by getting rid of the names of drinks and replacing them with descriptions the drinks’ ingredients. In addition to the menu alteration, a few of Local Coffee’s baristas will be participating in the South Central Barista Championship and hopefully go onto the USA Barista Championship, which they have never competed in before. Possibly one of the biggest changes is the development of the new Local Coffee on downtown Broadway. It is expected to open in February within the Alamo Heights district. The building they are renovating is from the 1920’s, and while much of the design of the shop will stay the same, Grubbs says some aspects will be adapted to the Alamo Heights Community. “I think Local Coffee is what Alamo Heights is looking for,” Grubbs said. Through traditions and changes, Local Coffee has proved to grant locals with the finest coffee brewed the best way they know how. By keeping the sense of community a priority, Local Coffee has achieved the feeling of locality in a cup of joe. Local Coffee is located on 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., Ste. 1113. (In the same center as Kumori and Auden’s Kitchen. Across from the school.) “We’d love to have more Reagan students here, and we’re just right across the street from the school,” Grubbs said.

Local Coffee is an independently owned and operated coffee shop. Local Coffee is located on 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., Ste. 1113. Photo by Emily Brown

As well as coffee, Local Coffee sells a variety of fresh pastries and breakfast goods like bagels, muffins, and cupcakes. Photo by Emily Brown

As well as coffee, Local Coffee sells a variety of fresh pastries and breakfast goods like bagels, muffins, and cupcakes. Photos by Emily Brown

University of Incarnate Word lights the way for the holidays Photos By Emily Brown

Below: The University of Incarnate Word lit up this holiday season at the Fifteenth Annual Light the Way Christmas Lighting Ceremony. The ceremony was held on Nov. 18 at the UIW Convocation Center, but the lights can be seen until Jan. 6.

Above: Christmas lights wrap the railing along the walls at Incarnate Word. These lights are among the 800,000 currently on display at the University and the nearby Incarnate Word High School and St. Anthony High School campuses.

Rattlers give to needy during holiday season

Winter Spread

By Danish Charania Recorder Staff Writer

Throughout the year, Rattlers are constantly involved in a variety of charities, including Blue Santa, Toys for Tots and Elf Louise, among others. This year a few students who are members of a non profit organization called Ismaili’s Engaged in Responsible Volunteering (ICERV) headed down to the San Antonio Metropolitan (SAM ) Ministry Shelter. SAM is an interfaith ministry whose goal is to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless to attain self-sufficiency by offering, with dignity and compassion, shelter, housing and other services. Similar to the charity Elf Louise, students wrapped presents for those in need or unable to have a Christmas with families and friends given their specific circumstances. “I’m glad we were able to lend a hand to the people of the SAM Ministry Shelter,” senior Rattler PAL Aftab Zindani said. “This gave our members a real opportunity to help out rather than simply setting up materials or cleaning up at venues.” Students often partici-

pate in charity events all year, but the holiday season is extra special for lending a hand. “Charity is great all throughout the year,” sophomore Samir Wadhwania said, “but charity events that take place during the Christmas holidays are even better. It helps a lot to give to others things they couldn’t imagine having given the circumstances they are placed in.” ICERV plans to return to the SAM ministry shelter and see the reaction of the individuals who are housed at the shelter. “I can’t wait to hopefully return back to the shelter,” Zidani said. “Our initiative as a volunteering organization is to help our members see the long term impact they make for those less fortunate then ourselves.” As organizations like ICERV continue to give back as much as possible during the holiday season, simple things like Blue Santa and Toys for Tots take place at Reagan and offer the students an opportunity to really get involved in the spirit of giving.

December 2011 Vol. 10 Issue 7

The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year By Michelle Saccar Recorder Staff Writer

Touched by its humor, honesty, Michelle Saccar reports on this Overtime Theatre production

The “most wonderful time of the year” The Most Wonderful Time of the Year most often includes lavish presents, Christ- provides just the right amount of comedy mas trees, hot chocolate and savory egg- and drama to compose an excellent play alnog for the adults. But our jolly Christmas together. The opening offers the audience songs usually fail to include the headaches, with enough comedic relief to feel comfortfamily feuds, and financial issues that come able with the characters and their distinct along with the holidays as well. However, personalities. those difficulties are soon resolved when It was mostly Billy’s character that offered we can see past issues and realize the im- the audience the chance to laugh at about portance of Christmas. every moment during the play. His charThe Most Wonderful Time of the Year, acter, a jail-beaten, immature, blunt man, presented by the Overwas the a little offset time Theatre, is a from the other charseasonal production acters. He often made about just that. the insensitive remarks This downtown San to generate laughs. I Antonio theatre has think that this was an put on a production important aspect to the that strives to teach play because it lifted the lessons to learn at some of the seriousness this time of year. of family problems. George and Billy are Once George gained brothers who have the confidence to speak held in their childup to this brother, the hood issues with each important issues were other until Billy comes dealt with. These preto visit for Christmas. dicaments provided the Instead of coming right amount of drama to catch up with his to keep the audience brother and family, entertained. The isBilly has arrived at his sues of money, family, brother’s house with and past were all relata Santa bag of stoable for the ordinary len cash to stash. His person, which is why I brother soon discovthink this play was so Jerdee, top, played George, a father strugers the money and is Robert attractive. gling to make ends meet in time for Christmas. Bentempted to take it. Since jamin Scharff, bottom, played his thieving brother We often dwell on the losing his job a few Billy. Photo by Michelle Saccar wonderful things at this months ago, George has struggled to pay time of year but fail to realize that those ishis bills at home, as well as his children’s sues we keep inside ourselves can easily be toys, house lights, and Christmas decora- overcome. tions. Through disagreements and childish Ultimately, I was able to gain several leswrestling, the brothers are able to realize sons from this funny and genuine play and what Christmas means and how blessed would recommend that anyone and everythey are to be able to spend the most won- one go see it. derful time of the year together.

All I want for the holidays is a... CALL OF DUTY MW3 “Best shooter of the year. It’s ‘Modern Warfare 2’ with better maps and guns.”

CAR “I want to drive without my mom in the front.” -Nathan Magsig Sophomore

BEATS HEADPHONES “The sound quality is awesome and they have a cool selection of colors.”

The lights can be viewed by a driving tour every evening beginning at sundown. The tour is free and open to the public, so go check it out!


MAC COMPUTER “Organizes my stuff and has cool applications like photo booth.”

-Jason Kent Freshman

-Emily Lehrbass Senior

-Andrew Fresces Junior

IPHONE4 “It has longer battery life, it’s faster, more memory, and has Siri.” -Ashton Korona Sophomore

Infographic compiled and designed by Jake Weeth



December 2011 Vol. 11 Issue 1

Rattlers wrap up nearly flawless season By Dillon Christian Recorder Staff Writer

The Reagan Rattler football team played a near perfect season. With one blemish on their record heading into the playoffs, they had won 12 straight games before losing to Steele in the state quarterfinals. The Rattlers’ defense started the season off slow when they gave up 37 points against Wagner in a 37-31 opening game loss. After that, they adjusted, and the Rattlers blew out O’Connor 31-8 and Pflugerville 28-10. The Rattlers had a tough game against Alamo Heights, but they pulled out a tough road victory, 21-17. Once district started, the Rattlers proved that they were the cream

of the crop of district 265A as they went undefeated in district play. In what was expected to be a tough game against rival Churchill, Trevor Knight led the way with 5 TDs on just eight carries in a 52-14 victory. The Rattlers pulled most of their starters after they were already up 42-7 against Lee, and they eventually won 42-14. In their first victory avenging a district loss, the Rattlers killed MacArthur 52-13. The Madison Mavericks came in their match up with the Rattlers undefeated in district and tied with them atop district 26-5A. Despite a Trevor Knight ankle injury, the Rattler’s

avenged last season’s blowout loss with a blowout victory, 38-17. In their last two regular season games, the Rattlers avenged two more losses from last season. The Rattlers blew out the rival Johnson Jaguars 42-21. In a game where they had already locked up the district championship, the Rattlers roughed up the Roosevelt Rough Riders 33-7 despite sitting their starters in the second half. Trevor Knight got his first playoff victory against the New Braunfels Unicorns, in a 48-20 game. The Rattlers go play a familiar foe in O’Connor, and they got to prove that they were much better than be-

fore in a 51-14 victory. In the regional semifinals, the Rattlers defeated previously undefeated McAllen Memorial thanks to a fumble forced by Tanner Schorp and recovered by Colton Bradshaw in the end zone. The Rattlers played a game against a Steele Knights team which is headed to and predicted to win state. Trevor Knight had a tough game, completing just 15 of 32 passes and throwing an interception on Reagan’s inside the 5-yard line on Reagan’s first drive. Steele was just too fast for the Rattlers, and it didn’t help that they won the turnover battle 3-0. In the end, Steele won 35-10 and ended a great

season by Reagan, who set a record for most victories in school history with 12. The Rattlers will be losing many seniors next year, including receivers Connor Knight, Austin Hays, Matt Franz and Logan Carver. They will also be missing quarterback Trevor Knight, tight end Drew Kerstetter, and running back Michael Coppage. On the offensive line, Matt McCarthy, David Rowan, and Billy Kifer. On defense, the Rattlers will be missing Bryan Hardy, Miles Magness, Zach Hillsberg, Colton Bradshaw and Will Speck. And last but not least, the Rattlers will be losing Reagan recordholder, placekicker and punter Jake Wilcox.

Quarterback Trevor Knight feels sentimental after the Rattler loss to Steele on Dec. 3 while standing on the sidelines singing the Alma Mater. Photo by Monique Sandoval

NBA lockout ends at last Season to return on Christmas Day By Dillon Christian Recorder Staff Writer

Soccer, softball or baseball fan? Don’t be left out in the cold! Wrap up with a blanket today. Come by HI126 GET THERE!

0 3 $


After months of negotiations, professional basketball is back. The NBA will start its regular season with five games on Christmas day, including a rematch of last season’s NBA finals. Instead of a regular 82-game season, each team will play just 66 games. The main component of lockout negotiations was the players’ revenue sharing. The owners claimed that they were losing money, which was true because 22 of 30 teams were losing money. The players were willing to lessen the amount of revenue they get, but not as much as the owners were pushing for. After negotiations in May and June failed to accomplish anything, the players and owners made a last-ditch effort to avert a lockout, but these negotiations failed and a lockout occurred. During the lockout, many players contemplated play-

ing overseas. A few notable players actually did sign contracts with foreign teams. Nets guard Deron Williams was the first player to sign overseas when he signed with Beskitas Milangas of Turkey. Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Martin signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs signed with a team he owns in his home country of France, ASVEL Villeurbanne.

On Sept. 23, the NBA decided to cancel training camp and the first week of preseason games. On Oct. 4, the NBA decided to cancel the rest of the preseason, causing the league to lose an estimated $200 million. All games through Dec. 15 were cancelled on Nov. 15. Finally, on Nov. 26, a deal was reached, and signatures from a majority of players and owners were signed. The players will receive 51.2 percent of the revenue in 2011-2012, but will only receive 49 percent in the following seasons. The NBA owners and players have a 10-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA), so basketball fans won’t have to worry about a lockout for many years to come. But in 2021, whenever the CBA is expired, fans might have to worry about the fate of the 2021-2022 season.

Features/Arts and Entertainment

The new girl

Foreign exchange student Fleur Verwer hails from Holland By Lauren Hernandez - Journalism Student Edited for the Recorder

Different school, differ- hard to make friends in a ent country, different life. new school, Verwer had Fleur Verwer came to no trouble. All her friends America as a foreign ex- smile and reminisce on the change student from Hol- good times they have had land. She lives with her host with her since she’s been family and host here. sister, Junior Her host sisEmily Hale. ter points out This 16-year old where they difhad to change fer. environments “She likes to and is learning dress up more to cope with her than I do and new lifestyle, she wears a lot but she loves of prints while her new life in I love my solSan Antonio. ids,” Hale said. Verwer is a Fleur, whose junior and par- Celine Lund says that Fleur name is French ticipates in jour- is “very outgoing.” Photo by for flower, has nalism, cook- Lifetouch a style that ing and theatre. mostly consists Her favorite class is theatre of floral prints and anything because to her it’s fun and comfortable. she is interested in it. Celine Lund says that Verwer lives with the Fleur is “very outgoing.” host family of Emily Hale. “We like to make ugly The Hales have made her facial expressions all the feel very welcome. time,” Lund said. “They treat me like famVerwer is trying to be as ily and are understanding,” much of a “normal AmeriVerwer said. can” as she can. She listens Fleur was active in field to pop, R&B or anything hockey and it is her favorite on mainstream radio. She sport. She also danced bal- welcomes the change that let and tennis when she was comes with moving to anyounger and still partici- other country. pates in sailing and skiing “I wanted to do somein Holland. thing else and I just wanted Although some find it a fresh start,” Verwer said.

E-mail shenanigans on campus could result in serious consequences


he faculty and staff have been receiving some weird e-mails lately. There have been three e-mail related incidents in the past two months, each with sketchier origins than the last. Although administrators say the messages were harmless, the senders could face serious consequences. The first e-mail was sent to every teacher on Oct. 2, and it read as a proposal for a club. The anonymous sender claimed to be interested in opening a chapter of the supposedly international “Reptilian Shape Shifters” (RSS). The organization was described to be “for those who have been blessed with the ability to morph into a new soul of a reptile.” “The Reptilian Shape Shifters is a club that encourages volunteering to the local community,” the e-mail read. “Every other day, the Reptilian Shape Shifters initiates [members] will rid the local community of arachnids and insects.” It didn’t take long for the recipients to think it was a hoax, and to assume that

Movie review: New Year’s Eve By Michelle Saccar Recorder Staff Writer

“It only happens once a year... It’s a time when hopeless can be romantic. When a resolution can become a revelation. For this one magical night, its about getting another chance to do more, to give more, to love more. That, and a good party.” New Year’s Eve is the perfect feel-good movie for around the holidays. The movie kept the audience smiling and laughing the entire time. The film boasts a cast list of over 15 wellknown celebrities. The stars included Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank, and Sofia Vergara. With a cast like that, the movie hardly needed a plot. Nevertheless, the story line of the movie follows the different situations of ordinary people in New York on

New Year’s Eve. Although there are many characters and stories, the movie is not difficult to follow. The connections made between characters as the movie progresses kept the audience not just engaged, but on the edge of their seats. New York, being a dazzling and lively city, is the ideal setting for a movie that features so many stars. The city provided a perfect backdrop for the various lives of the New Yorkers, specifically, the sight of the famous ball drop in Times Square where the movie resolves. Despite facing financial, health, career, and familial issues, the characters learned to look past the trivial matters and focus on the geniality of their loved ones. Even through the humor, the movie portrays meaningful life lessons. One of these is the fragility of life and the common phrase: “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” In addition, the movie demonstrates the importance of


students were behind it. “I would guess it was from a student,” Principal Bill Boyd said. “They’re just being silly.” Despite looking like a joke, the e-mail sender, who maintained anonymity and stated their position in the RSS as “Chameleon Grand Master,” claimed that their intentions were genuine. “This is no joke,” the Chameleon Grand Master wrote in email correspondence to the Recorder. “We are 100 percent serious.” The second mass e-mail to faculty and staff was sent on Nov. 19. It was sent from Coach James Howard’s e-mail address. “Dear RHS Faculty,” the e-mail read. “Or as I like to tell people the best dang faculty in the world. Just wanted to talk to you for a minute and let you know how much I appreciate each and every one of you. [sic]” Coach Howard, not usually “the mass email type,” had been hacked. “Though the sentiment is there,” he wrote to teachers in

forgiveness, second chances, and fresh starts. Garry Marshall, director of New Year’s Eve, attempted to replicate the same successful combination of more than a dozen actors with the feeling of those remarkable moments of love as seen in Valentines Day. If you enjoyed those aspects in Valentines Day, then you are sure to appreciate this heart warming and purely blissful movie.


December 2011 Vol. 10 Issue 7

By Kris Seavers Editor-in-Chief

an e-mail explaining that he had been hacked. While the content of the e-mail was harmless, even endearing, the hacker could still face serious consequences. Tampering with or gaining access to faculty’s e-mails is strictly against district and school rules as well as a violation of the Internet usage agreement that each student signs at the beginning of the school year. Any student that breaks these rules loses privileges and access to the Internet at school. In this case, the sender could be sent to Alternative High School. “The district has put investigators on it,” Boyd said, “and when they find out who did it, the boom will come down.” The third e-mail was, like the RSS proposal, sent from an anonymous e-mail address. It featured a picture of Kirby Whitehead, history teacher, alongside a portrait of authoritarian ruler Kim Jong-il of North Korea. Each faculty and staff member on campus received it, but surely it affected

no recipient like it did Whitehead, who the e-mail claimed to be a “school teacher by day, ruthless dictator by night.” “My first thought was that someone has wasted a lot of time,” Whitehead said, laughing. “My second thought was of specific students who might be behind it.” As there are no specific rules against mass e-mailing teachers, the perpetrators behind the RSS e-mail and the message to Whitehead will likely not face any punishment. That is, if they are ever discovered. No student has come forward claiming to be the sender of any of these e-mails at this time, and it is unclear if the three incidents are related. As for the Chameleon Grand Master, Boyd issued a word of caution. “They need to be very careful,” he said. In the mean time, Whitehead would like to resolve the rumor started by the e-mail claiming him to be a North Korean dictator. “I am much taller than Kim Jong-il,” he said, “Even if he wore heels.”

What’s your 2012 resolution? “To get all A’s and be a better swimmer” Jordan Clark - 11

“To appreciate what I have and to make those who need aid in anyway a priority” Gabe Millare - 11

“To be less lazy and to limit the amount of procrastination.”

Allister Banks-Ellis-11

New Year’s Eve was released on Dec. 8, 2010. Photo courtesy of

“To be more involved in the community” Mason Bender -11



December 2011 Vol. 11 Issue 1


The problem with watching the fight

Why being a bystander glorifies fighting and is just plain wrong Jake Weeth Recorder Staff Writer

Fighting is defined as a battle or combat due to an angry argument or disagreement. Violence is usually generated from hate, so why would anyone want to see people harm one another with hostility? It’s an act that we can easily stop by either calling out to a teacher for help or, if we can, intervening ourselves. School related fights have become a large controversy at school and in the community. They endanger the physical and mental health of many, so it’s only wrong to stand by and watch. What makes the fight scene worse is that most bystanders will pull out the cameras or phones to record video or take photos of the fights as the are happening. It is not “criminally” illegal to video tape a fight, but you could face civil ramifications. In any case, if you had time to pull out a phone and record a fight, then you probably had the time to find an adult and put an end to the brawl. English teacher Elaine Freeland tried to break up a fight in the hallway at school as students crowded

around and tried to peek through one another to witness the brawl. To try and stop the fight, she yelled “cease!” There were close to thirty kids watching the two students beat each other up, but she was only one to try and intervene. Students say they wouldn’t try to break up fights because they are thinking of their own safety, but they won’t be put in danger if they seek out a teacher or adult. The main reason people will stand by and watch fights is for pure entertainment. Teenagers seem to find it fun to watch people punch each other in the face. They like to see people engage in battle or combat due to an angry argument or disagreement. In the end, it’s just tasteless for us to just stand by as others engage in violence. We need to gain some courage and get our mind straight to realize that what’s happening is wrong. Take the right steps and grab a teacher or responsible adult, or stop the fight without the bloodshed.

Photographer or photo appreciator? By Emily Brown Recorder Photo Editor

Recently it has become increasingly now a “photographer,” yet the vast mapopular for the common man to pur- jority of people do. It seems as if along chase DSLR cameras and use them with the new craze of buying these highmore casually, and dare I say more dis- tech cameras, it has become custom to respectfully, than ever before.  Pictures take upon the title of “photographer” are a very necessary part of sociwith it. People just assume ety: They capture the title as if it were a free emotions, memotoy in the bottom of the ries, and proof of a cereal box.   The formal variety of things and definition of photograplaces.   Although pher would be a trained DSLR cameras are a professional or semisure-fire way to capprofessional who has ture the most crisp or is taking classes or and realistic photos, other training to learn is it really imperative the basics of the art of every typical mother, photography and all father and teenager to the functions of the make this purchase?  Is DSLR camera.   Beit really worth spending a photographer ing the close estimate requires hard work of $1,000 when you and dedication, and have no experience or it seems as if peotraining, and you do not ple do not realize plan to receive any of eihow much work acther?  Given, you will gain tually goes into masAbove: In the event that you do said “experience” through aspire to be a real photographer, try tering the art of the checking out books on the subject the continual photo shoots like Russell Hart’s Photography camera.   It is almost on “auto” mode, but the cam- for Dummies. You could also join insulting to read the Reagan’s Photojournalism I class. era offers so much more than Stop by HI126 for more info. Photo bios of people on sothat one setting.  I do not dis- courtesy of cial networking sites courage people from buying and blogs claiming these and learning how to handle them, they are photographers. They have a though I, among others, believe there supposed “passion” for it when the only to be a problem with labeling oneself as photos they have to show are those of a photographer just by owning one of them sitting on the bathroom counter these fancy cameras. with the flash reflecting off the smudged I realize and recognize that every per- mirror or a black and white photo of the son who owns a DSLR camera does not old tree in their back yard.   always advertise the fact that they are

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the Recorder Dec. '11  

Volume 13, Issue 1

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